Experts say Black activism today takes place in digital spaces where young African Americans share stories and invoke conversation about their struggles with friends and strangers. According to David J. Leonard, associate professor and chair of the Department of Critical Culture, Gender, and Race Studies, social media has its place in activism just as traditional forms of activism commonly associated with the Civil Rights movement.
“Activism and organizing are the basis of change; change comes through what [W.E.B.] DuBois described as ceaseless agitation. There are many different tools that are used to engage in this work,” Leonard said. He points to the information shared in social media about Trayvon Martin, the “online mobilization” to Jena 6, and the execution of Troy Davis, as examples of when Black youth use social media to create conversation.